Damson Cottage Garden

Taking Cuttings

I love taking cuttings. It’s a super easy, quick way of producing new plants, plus its totally free – whats not to love?!¬†Herbs like rosemary, thyme and sage are great to take cuttings from, as are shrubs like hydrangeas. Generally fresh growth on woody plants will give you the best results.

Decide how many plants you want, then make about three times that amount of cuttings as its unlikely they will all work. If they do all work – great! There will always be someone who would be happy to take them off your hands.

Sage from cuttings

New sage plants made from cuttings

To take cuttings you need to fill plant pots with a sand and compost mix. We are lucky and have sandy soil, so I just scoop up a plant pot of soil and use that. The plants seem happy enough with this but probably would get too wet and rot if you tried to use heavy clay soil.

Next cut about a 3 inch long tip from your chosen plant with some sharp¬†secateurs. Don’t use any shoots that have flowers on them as they will not work as well. I cut the stem at an angle so it has the largest possible area to sprout roots from.

Using sharp secateurs to snip off the tips of rosemary

Using sharp secateurs to snip off the tips of rosemary

Rosemary cuttings

The tips from the rosemary. I remove the lower leaves

Then pull off the lower leaves so there are only a few just at the top of the cutting. Dip the cutting in growth hormone powder – this stimulates the cutting to produce roots at the base. You can make cuttings without using any growth hormone at all but I find it helps with my success rate.

I cut the stem at an angle and dip it in rooting hormone

I cut the stem at an angle and dip it in rooting hormone

After dipping the stem into the rooting hormone powder push them into your soil or compost mix, about 1 inch deep. Water the cutting, then put a clear plastic bag or cut plastic bottle over it to reduce evaporation and prevent the cutting wilting.

Put a clear plastic bag over the cutting to keep it moist

Put a clear plastic bag over the cutting to keep it moist

You can fit several cuttings in the same pot. Put them around the edge and make sure they don’t touch each other. Then wait! Keep them watered and in a shady place so they don’t get too hot and hope for the best. The cuttings should start to produce roots in about a month. I wait until they have grown then either put them in a bigger pot or plant them in the beds.

Taking cuttings can become a bit addictive – we have so many sage plants we are tempted to set up a stall at the end of the garden path! Let me know what plants you find give the best results from cuttings. Jane

 

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